How do you know when you aren’t sacrificing enough? In last week’s episode we discussed how to know when we are sacrificing too much out of the wrong motivation, and this week we look at the other side of the coin.
Last week we talked about how we know when a sacrifice is TOO great.
- The sacrifice will be commensurate with the vision or hope.
- The sacrifice is too great if the desired outcome is not worthy of the cost.
- Sacrifice is a personal choice between you and God… it is a heart matter.
Today, as we continue this topic, we are discussing how you know if our sacrifice just is not great enough… touchy topic!
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THE SACRIFICE IS NOT GREAT ENOUGH?
Passionate leaders often are internally motivated to give more than required, and sometimes more than they should give/sacrifice. But what about the other side of the coin?
I think of two parables Jesus gave; The treasure hidden in the field and the pearl of great price. In each instance the stories related a truth that when you find something of incredible value, it is worth sacrifice other things important to us in order to gain the thing of immeasurable worth.
I also think of Jesus’ observation of the widow’s mite and the donations of the rich. The widow who put two pennies in the collection gave far more that the rich who were flashing their $100s into the plate. Why? Because her sacrifice and obedience was greater than theirs. IT IS NEVER ABOUT THE AMOUNT, IT IS ABOUT THE SACRIFICE.
What is a sacrifice to one is not at all a sacrifice to someone else.
Then, there is King David who sought to buy a valuable piece of land to make a sacrifice to God. David inquired of Araunah to buy his valuable threshing floor (2 Samuel 24), and Araunah wanted to give David the land. David insisted to pay for the threshing floor declaring, “I will not give to the Lord that which cost me nothing.” By the way, Araunah’s threshing floor eventually became the site of the temple and is the current site of the Dome of the Rock.
It is not original to me, but I often say, “We will not accomplish the great commission with our spare change and our spare time.” It just costs more than that and is worth more than that. The building of the temple when everyone sacrificially gave both resources and skills. They pulled together to accomplish something to them non-negotiable.
Important things require sacrifice. Why?
- Because when we sacrifice we transcend what we can do and we come into the realm of what God can do.
- Because when we sacrifice it requires TRUST in the realm of the unseen.
- Because when we sacrifice we give God the opportunity to reveal himself in a way we would not have otherwise known, and with revelation comes transformation. We are changed in glorious ways through TRUSTING God enough to sacrifice.
WHEN WE FEEL A CALL TO SACRIFICE, HOW DO WE KNOW IF WE HAVE A CHOICE?
Last night I was thinking of my love for God. The thought occurred, if you had to choose between your wife or your children and God, who would you choose? My answer to that question is: I cannot make such choices until faced with the choices. The thing I know is, I cannot forsake God, the difficult scenarios, I cannot say how I would react, other than the John 6 perspective: I know that true life is only found in Christ.
When we face an impossible choice sometimes we refuse to choose. Someone else may choose for us, but I refuse to make impossible choices. If one of our grandchildren was in peril of being lost without our attention, would we forsake Africa, yes! Would we forsake God? No, because only in him is life.
A sacrifice to which God calls us will align with God’s nature, it will not transgress the Word of God or the character of God. It WILL require TRUST, it will NOT require foolhardiness.
It is my experience that God first prepares us before calling upon us to make a sacrifice.
- Our message is that through the tragedies and hard things of life our hearts were prepared to step into arenas we would not have otherwise.
- Something that today we think we could never let go of, after preparation, could be a joyful surrender.
- Do not fret or work yourself up over what God may require of you, he will prepare your path, he will do a work in your life, you will be prepared to walk through the future doors through which his will and pleasure bids you to walk.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN A SACRIFICE IS “WORTH IT?”
“God gives the increase.” Sometimes it is none of my business whether something will be “worth it” or not.
- Sometimes sacrifice is an act of obedience.
- Sometimes sacrifice has little connection to the outcome.
Jesus gave his life for some who did not respond and died in their sins. Considering God’s love for one person, do you think Jesus sat in heaven and said, wow, it wasn’t worth it?
I have used “worth it” as a measure for what I will and will not do. I wanted to be sure it was “worth it” before I said yes to our journey to Africa.
“Worth it” is measured by our “why.” What is your “why?” Is your “why” worth it?
Our “why” is…
- TRUSTING God enough to embrace an incredible adventure without really knowing how so many things will turn out.
- BELIEVING that if God calls us to make sacrifices, there is good reason for it, and we are eager to discover the fullness of the “whys.”
Those are the intangibles, but the tangibles are…
- Reaching the unreached because we believe God has prepared us to participate in a unique way in His awesome mission.
- The lives that will experience transformation as church planting movements take root and gain momentum in cities that influence the course and direction of Africa.
- We believe the Church that is and is developing in Africa will have a profound spiritual impact on planet earth. We want to have the small part we can have of working with leaders who will have multiplied impact.
- We believe our missionary team is worthy of investment, and investing in, and loving, and lifting our missionary team is multiplication that reaches further than I can imagine.
- We believe that equipping pastors and spiritual leaders to equip other pastors and spiritual leaders is a “why” that will not even be countable.
I think everything of value requires some sacrifice. When I consider the sacrifice of Christ on my behalf, I am inspired and prompted to follow His example.
You are and we are making some sacrifices for some important things. Comparison is a dangerous thing, and out of comparison we cannot see that what we are doing comes close to comparing with what so many others have done or are doing… but this is not a competition of who can sacrifice more!
When we focus on the joy of what our actions and investments produce, then things just don’t really feel or look like a sacrifice, they are a privilege and joy. That’s the way we see our journey. And when we see it in that way, then our perspective is right and we find the joy… and it is worth it.